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Old 27 Dec 2006, 01:20 (Ref:1799661)   #1
Nicholosophy
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Driver Series or Technology Series - the future of F1

From this thread... (thought it would be worthy of it's own thread rather than hijacking the other one)
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Originally Posted by Teretonga
F1's 'golden era' has passed and without a reversion to a formula that puts the emphsis back on the driver we will not see such an age again. As long as F1 remains as a 'technology' based formula the driver will be secondary to the engineering.
F1 for many years has been considered the 'pinnacle' of motorsport. The best drivers in the best cars with the latest and greatest technology combating against each other to see who came out on top.

F1 was once full of innovations - we saw six wheeled cars, the fan cars and some other really 'out there' technologies. Then there was ground effects, active suspension, ABS and traction control - with these technologies making the transition to road cars. These days the technologies in use aren't so tangiable, for lack of a better word.

It would be fair to say that there have been 'pay drivers' in F1 from the beginning. In the 50s the rich ran their own cars, and this has progressed to where the rich (or sponsored) now buy rides in other cars. New teams sprang up all the time but now there's only going to be 12 and that's that.

However the best drivers still (largely) come to F1 and reach the top. TGF, Mika and Alfonso have won WCs during the the recent history of F1 and it would be fair to say that they are all top line drivers.

Teretonga makes the point that F1 is currently a technology series and that the best drivers in poor machinery cannot overcome that, whereas in the past there was some ability for a top driver to drag a dog of a car home. Is this because we've reached the ceiling point for technology in F1? Have we reached a point where we should say "lets have standard cars and let the drivers duke it out as there is no gain from advances in technology now"?

My personal opinion is that I like the balance of man and machine. The drivers should be important but so is the overall team package. There is scope for new technologies to come along and revolutionise the racing world and car manufacturing. But with the commercialism of the sport it could be said that it is too risky for massive 'leap of faith' technologies to be even tried. Add in the risk of massive lawsuits in our litigation-centric society and it throws up more problems.

I have two questions for all you ten-tenthers. Which direction do you hope/want/would like F1 to go over the next 10 years. Secondly, do you think this will happen, and if not, what do you actually invisage?

I ask in advance that as this discussion unfolds that you take in what is said and don't immediately attack. Take it at its face value - a discussion between motorsport fans who just want to see F1 be the best it can be. Variety is the spice of life.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 17:50 (Ref:1799991)   #2
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Well from first impressions of the 2009 regulations, I'd say the FIA are already tipping the balance back toward the driver. The huge tyres and Standard ECU's promised tells be that Traction control is on the wayout for starters, this IMO is the primary factor in handing back the car to the driver.

However there still is even today a difference between Good and Bad drivers. You only have to look at the laptimes of team-mates in the first half of the season before "Team orders" kick in, that show's that some drivers are just faster than others regardless of Technology.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 18:03 (Ref:1799998)   #3
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yes, look at each driver in the team, and then look at the cars as well, can a driver out perform cars like senna did.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 19:07 (Ref:1800019)   #4
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Trouble is the answer is neither (or both). The following argument will contain many extremes, many examples taken to the limit. Especially when people talk about the old days. Some may even use percentages; this will be funny as they won't be defined properly. However, as with many things, the answer is in the middle. Although the degree is interesting...

For me, it is imperative that the cars are different. It is also good if as much of these cars behaviour is in control of the the driver while he is driving.

Sometimes a driver will win because he has a good car, sometimes a car will win because of the driver. So be it.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 19:45 (Ref:1800032)   #5
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Formula 1 is, or should be, the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. As Formula 1 was formalised as a drivers championship, it should stay that way. Innovations are welcome, as long as the driver's input is secured.

In the current state of Formula 1 there is too much emphasis on technologies that take away too much from the drivers. I think the FIA should change that by eliminating, or at least minimizing, driver aids such as traction control, electronic differential, tyre blankets, semi-automatich gearboxes, anti-stall software, etc. On the same hand the FIA should abolish the (most) restrictions regarding the engines, tyres and underbodies.

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Old 27 Dec 2006, 20:05 (Ref:1800040)   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran20
yes, look at each driver in the team, and then look at the cars as well, can a driver out perform cars like senna did.
A driver can outperform his car (as it is so often put!) now as he could in years past. Schumacher in the 2005 Ferrari for instance, amongst others.

I'm not sure Senna "outperformed" his car much more than todays greats. It is just that we look back fondly on distant memories with a hint of rose tint.

As regards the future, it should be more towards drivers than cars than it is now certainly. The removal of driver aids would do the trick! But the sport must, of course retain some technology. I personally could not care less whether the sport is a technology leader or not, but there are important and powerful folk who do care and so it shall remain. How much this technology impedes driver skill, we shall see.

Last edited by Knowlesy; 27 Dec 2006 at 20:09.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 23:17 (Ref:1800146)   #7
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But the sport was "fine" before driver aids "came back" in 2001. What was the driving urge to have driver aids back? Did manufacturers demand it to showcase technology? I don't believe so. If I recall, it was the FIA admitting it could not police the situation, therefore all restrictions were lifted.

The manufacturers crying over the removal of driver aids is only because they will / might lose their percieved advantage over their rivals that they actually may or may not have.
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Old 27 Dec 2006, 23:22 (Ref:1800150)   #8
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Originally Posted by Knowlesy
A driver can outperform his car (as it is so often put!) now as he could in years past. Schumacher in the 2005 Ferrari for instance, amongst others.

I'm not sure Senna "outperformed" his car much more than todays greats. It is just that we look back fondly on distant memories with a hint of rose tint.

As regards the future, it should be more towards drivers than cars than it is now certainly. The removal of driver aids would do the trick! But the sport must, of course retain some technology. I personally could not care less whether the sport is a technology leader or not, but there are important and powerful folk who do care and so it shall remain. How much this technology impedes driver skill, we shall see.
the 84 toleman at monaco, and putting that 94 williams on pole wasnt the cars doing either .

93 was a struggle, bad car but still took the challenge to prost hill and schumacher.

f1 has created most technolgy on roads cars we drive now, this is good but i dont think its good for racing, its good that f1 invents seomthing and then has it banned

when racing i like to see the driver driving the car, not a computer with some arms pointing it in the right direction
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 00:26 (Ref:1800170)   #9
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Originally Posted by Kieran20

f1 has created most technolgy on roads cars we drive now, this is good but i dont think its good for racing, its good that f1 invents seomthing and then has it banned
Err....actually no,in fact the last piece of technology to be banned (Renaults damper system) had already found its way onto Citroens 2CV around 50 years ago!

ABS,TC,or whatever was not the doing of F1.In fact F1 is probably not the ideal place to show off road car technology.If I wanted to know what might be the new thing on road cars I'd look elsewhere.

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Old 28 Dec 2006, 08:16 (Ref:1800263)   #10
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Originally Posted by martyn bott
Err....actually no,in fact the last piece of technology to be banned (Renaults damper system) had already found its way onto Citroens 2CV around 50 years ago!

ABS,TC,or whatever was not the doing of F1.In fact F1 is probably not the ideal place to show off road car technology.If I wanted to know what might be the new thing on road cars I'd look elsewhere.
Yeah, like Endurance Racing.
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 08:47 (Ref:1800272)   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran20
the 84 toleman at monaco, and putting that 94 williams on pole wasnt the cars doing either .

93 was a struggle, bad car but still took the challenge to prost hill and schumacher.
Knowlesy didn't say that Senna did not do these things. He said that an equivalent great can still acheive similar things.
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 10:08 (Ref:1800319)   #12
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Knowlesy didn't say that Senna did not do these things. He said that an equivalent great can still acheive similar things.
ah yes i see now i have read it again. oh well, fond memories, and ok if f1 hasnt created the technolgy then ban it all!
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 10:29 (Ref:1800344)   #13
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The more the technology, the more unnecessary effort the driver has to put into understanding non driving stuff that isn't very related to their basic talent of driving a racing car like telemetary graphs (fascinating I suspect to read it maybe), the electonics and the effect it has on the cars dynamics, minute adjustments to braking systems (when more basic brakes would suffice) etcc.

We therefore end up with highly professional and studious drivers who are great for pouring over data with engineers but aren't necessarily that spectacular to watch behind the wheel because they learn to use the tricks very well but their basic talents to get a car by the scruff of the neck and do things with it is quite reduced?

Contentious yes, but when a pure racer like a JPM or (back in his day Senna who got on with the stuff but preferred the car without them?) get fed up with all the gizmo stuff because it's boring them (amongst other things) then what is the point of having it all.

G Villenueve's best quote for me even in the late 70's when there wasn't any OTT technology but ground effect was a problem said something like:

'Hey lets get the cars back to flat bottoms, big fat slick tyres, minimal wings with a bit more power than grip and start getting the cars moving around and sideways again!'

Sound fair enough to me!
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 10:36 (Ref:1800351)   #14
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I've said it before and I will no doubt say it again but if F1 took its technology levels back a level to perhaps the same sort of level as GP2 I think things would be a lot better.

Im not saying that F1 should become a spec series, far from it. What I am saying though is perhaps all the teams should have spec electronics and mechanical parts whilst still allowing the teams to design their own cars and areodynamic parts.

Even this though would be by no means a long term fix for F1, but it would drive costs down and make things more level for everyone. The top teams would still come to the front of course but the differnce woudnt be as big as it is now between F1's richest and poorest teams.
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 10:41 (Ref:1800358)   #15
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Schumi always said he liked the technologies because it helped a fast car go faster and he could keep the car at its limits for longer.

I can understand why the likes of Monty and Gilles would not agree with him.
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